Summary:

Analysts don’t know how many Kindle Fires have been sold any more than you do. Sometimes, though, they do cool stuff like an analysis (PDF)…

Jeff Bezos holding Kindle Fire
photo: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

Analysts don’t know how many Kindle Fires have been sold any more than you do. Sometimes, though, they do cool stuff like an analysis (PDF) of their family’s Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) Prime usage — or, in the case of a new Citigroup report released today, a survey on Kindle usage and Prime membership.

Even better: This report includes the term “bull-twinkie.”

Some tidbits from Citi analyst Mark Mahaney’s survey of over 1,100 “U.S. Internet consumers” (so just imagine “Citi says” in front of all these bullets):

–Twenty-three percent of survey respondents own a Kindle e-reader — just a Kindle, not a Kindle or some other type of e-reader. A July 2011 Pew report estimated U.S. adults’ e-reader ownership at 12 percent, hence Citi’s assertion that “Kindle ownership has increased about 100% over the past 7 months”). Six percent of respondents own a Kindle Fire.

–“We see Amazon’s eReader revenue contribution as actually materially greater than its Tablet revenue contribution for the foreseeable future.”

–“E-reader owners purchase about 2.4 books per month….this survey finding is higher than our prior assumption of about 1.5 books purchased per month by Kindle owners.” Also, 24 percent of respondents said they’d purchased five or more e-books in the past 30 days.

–Kindle Fire owners are most likely to use their device to read e-books (35 percent), browse the Internet (18 percent), and play games (18 percent).

–Eighty-one percent of Kindle Fire owners have purchased digital products, 10 percent have purchased physical products and 8 percent have purchased nothing.

–About 20 percent of Amazon shoppers in the survey were also Prime subscribers — most through a paid annual membership (58 percent). Also, Citi agrees with me that this Bloomberg report on Prime subscribers is stupid: “12 percent of Amazon shoppers in our survey are paying Prime subs. Although a relatively low %, this would seem to suggest that the recent report that Amazon has only 2-3MM Prime Subs was a bunch of bull-twinkie.”

–“Prime subs shop more frequently (22x per year vs. 9x purchases per year done by non-Prime subs) and spend more dollars ($458 vs. $310, or about 48% more than non-Prime subs.”

–Finally, for those who just really like analysts’ estimates of devices sold: Citi estimates that 30 million Kindle e-readers will be sold in 2012, compared to 12 million Kindle Fires. And Citi estimates Amazon’s e-book sales at $6.2 billion this year, up 176 percent from 2011.

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